São Paulo

São Paulo Travel Guide

In a city where the skyscrapers seems to stretch on for miles, just exploring the best of the architecture is one of the top things to do in São Paulo —and your hotel concierge can help hook you up with any number of guided tours. There are plenty of cool things to do in São Paulo. The Jardins (especially on Rua Oscar Freire and Alameda Lorena) is where you’ll find the more upscale boutiques, while Centro is where you can browse market stalls of leather, textiles and crafts. A great place to start, near the Mariana metro stop, is the Casa de Vila, which offers Brazilian handicrafts from a beautiful 1929 mansion. São Paulo is a hotbed for contemporary art galleries, such as relative newcomer Raquel Arnaud, focusing on Brazilian artists, or Galeria Vermelho, which tends to show more international talent. To see truly up-and-coming work, walk down the Beco do Batman (Rua Gonçalo Afonso) in the Vila Madalena district— a colorful, graffiti-lined alley that changes continually as street artists add new works.

If you love nightlife, your list of what to do in São Paulo should start with a generous dose of the local coffee. The evening really kicks off at about 10 around here, at lounges such as Suite Savalas (have an amaretto-infused Corleone) or Emporio Sagarana, where you can partake in a refreshing glass of sugar-cane-based cachaça. For a hot dance club after midnight, check out Casa 92, which feels like the home of a very well connected friend.

Brazilian DJ's spin all night at this local hot spot.

Tangy olives, linguica sausages, and salt cod (legacies of Portuguese rule) sit cheek by jowl with native tropical fruit and Amazonian chiles at this 1930's market known for its cathedral-worthy stained-glass dioramas.

A typical airport bookstore with a limited selection of English paperbacks and a lot of people flipping through Caras, one of Brazil’s best-known gossip rags.

One of the city’s coolest electronic-music clubs, D-Edge attracts partiers with a wild dance room that makes you feel like you’re inside a giant Rubik’s Cube.

Fresh batches of pão de queijo - irresistibly chewy, buttery bread made with cassava flour - are baked daily at the pocket-size bakery.

This small spa steeped in Asian aesthetics and L’Occitane products is the best (okay, the only) spot to relax away a layover with a shiatsu massage, reflexology, a new do, or even a Brazilian bikini wax. There is a smaller version in Terminal 2 near Gate 22. Treatments from $12.

Brazil’s most recognized jeweler specializes in local gemstones, most notably the bluish tourmaline, a stone commonly found throughout Minas Gerais in Brazil’s interior. It’s also a smart spot to pick up a high-end watch that won’t require a second mortgage.

In the evening, "urban bossa" and other live music entertains an energetic crowd .